Shawn Johnson says she was ‘groped and yelled at’ by TSA agent while traveling with breast milk

·3 min read

Shawn Johnson is speaking out about a bad experience that she had during a routine security check at the airport when a Transportation Security Administration agent allegedly stopped the former gymnast for having breast milk with her.

The 29-year-old mother-of-two posted to her Instagram stories on Sunday with a message to the TSA agent in question writing, "I'm really sorry you have had a bad day but take it out on me was unnecessary. I can honestly say that was one of the worst experiences I have."

Shawn Johnson says that she was humiliated by TSA while traveling with breast milk. (Photo: Getty Images)
Shawn Johnson says that she was humiliated by TSA while traveling with breast milk. (Photo: Getty Images)
Johnson shared her experience on social media. (Photo: Instagram)
Johnson shared her experience on social media. (Photo: Instagram)

Johnson, who gave birth to her son Jett in late July, was returning home after her first trip without her baby boy. According to her next post, it seems that bringing her supply of breast milk with her on her flight caused an issue at security.

"We as mamas have a duty to our babies and a right in this world to carry breast milk through security. Having you public[ly] humiliate me in proving to you it was actually breast milk was against my rights. To then be groped and yelled at in public was excessive," she continued. "I know you were doing your job...but so was I."

A representative from the Transportation Security Administration didn't have further information on the incident, nor did Johnson share more details. However, TSA tells Yahoo Life that "breast milk is, of course, permitted." 

Additional details about traveling with children or breast milk — such as notifying a TSA officer about the liquid and having it additionally screened by X-ray — are on TSA's website. According to the guidelines, "additional steps" may be necessary if the traveling guardian does not want the liquid X-rayed, including "a pat-down and screening of other carry-on property." Johnson traveling alone should not have caused further issue, as TSA rules state, "You do not need to travel with your child to bring breast milk."

Johnson has been open about her struggles with breastfeeding in the past, as she shared her decision to feed her daughter Drew exclusively by pumping and providing formula. And while she's given breastfeeding another try with her son, she's admitted to the difficulty in pumping and providing milk for her children.

"Exclusively pumping is so hard and it's so time-consuming and it's just a commitment. It was something I was really passionate about: Because my body was making milk, I felt like I should give it to my daughter if there was a way I could," she previously told Yahoo Life. "So I spent a lot of my time traveling around the world, pumping on planes and in between media days and sessions and all those things. And that was a lot for me. And I would do it again for my son, but I hoped I didn't have to."

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